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Work / Graphic Design

Bold Decisions is a type foundry championing both versatility and eccentricity

Danish type foundry Bold Decisions, founded by Kristoffer Sølling, Mads Wildgaard and Rasmus Schønning, design multifunctional custom typefaces used by studios and brands all over the world.

Starting points for each of the type foundry’s projects begin with different objectives and influences. Take for instance its typeface Real, designed especially for the Real Danish Design Awards. Beginning as a revival, Real is inspired by “one of those few forgotten gems” of typography, based on the only Danish version of Helvetica “that we know of,” from the 1980s. Adhering to its Danish heritage through minimalist construction, “with very open counters and very simple constructed upper case,” Real’s uses are still infinitely flexible. This is seen through a variety of weights adaptable with time and purpose, demonstrating the unique talents of Bold Decisions’ custom type designs.

Bold Decisions’ process of revitalising the design aesthetic of an older typeface into a more contemporary entity continues in Glossy Display, a typeface it launched around three months ago. Designed around the concept of “merging the classic serif typeface of yesterday, with the technological advantages of tomorrows screens,” the typeface is available from condensed to extended, combining sharpness, floating curves and high functionality, resulting in a formal yet friendly serif. The typeface was recently utilised in the work of fellow Danish designers Alexis Mark, an exciting move for Bold Decisions as it “was important to form the idea in people’s heads about what it was and what it was good for,” explains the type foundry.

Another modular typeface by Bold Decisions is Clip, initially revived by Asger Behncke Jacobsen in 2015 and completed by Mads Wildgaard in 2017. It has been a particularly pleasing typeface for the foundry to release as there was no goal of necessarily earning money from it. Alternatively, the objective lay in creating something weird and wonderful. The typeface showcases distinctively quirky letterforms, standing out with its jagged curves and chunky strokes. Its jutting features and unashamed boldness is reminiscent of primitive art, while simultaneously feeling contemporary and refined at the same time. How the typeface has been implemented by designers particularly pleased the type foundry too, explaining that it’s “been a surprise to see how versatile it’s proven to be, much more than we initially thought,” Bold Decisions tells It’s Nice That. "It works really well for a variety of projects. That’s not to say that it’s easy to use — but once it’s there, it seems to fit very well.”

However the bread and butter typeface of Bold Decisions is Lars, a typeface “not living on any type of particular fashion and also not so versatile that it doesn’t have any appeal,” explains the studio. A reflection of the type foundry, Lars has expanded as a typeface as the studio have also grown. From a one person set up in a tiny apartment in Arnhem, Lars was initially just six weights as Mads’ graduation project. Now, as the type foundry has grown in members and has an office in Amsterdam, the typeface’s family now includes 32 weights, spread all over their catalogue with well over 40,000 glyphs, garnering an international status too. Most notably, it’s been featured in the new identity for Ghostly International by Los Angleles-based Folder studio.

With many more custom design jobs planned over the next year, as well as Real to be released in 2019, Bold Decisions is steadily expanding its creativity in unique type design.

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Bold Decisions: Clip used for Chess Instituut #5, designed by Lucie de Brechard, Alex Walker & Tereza Ruller

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Bold Decisions: Clip used on Lovin “Babe” Sure Is Fun by Omer Coleman Jr. released on Left Ear Records and designed by Asger Behncke Jacobsen

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Bold Decisions: Lars used for Ghostly International, designed by Folder Studio

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Bold Decisions: Lars

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Bold Decisions: Immanuel Kant — Oplysning, Historie, Fremskridt — Forlaget Slagmark. Designed by Alexis Mark

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Bold Decisions: Glossy Display

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Bold Decisions: Glossy Display

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Bold Decisions: Glossy Display